Your destination wedding ceremony can be divided into multiple categories, but here we break them into 5 of the most common:
- Civil Wedding
- Symbolic Wedding
- Religious Catholic Wedding
- Mayan Union
- Same-Sex Weddings
First things first, before you progress onto looking at various wedding options available to you, you will very likely be required to have a Civil Wedding, either in Mexico or in your partners home country. If you intend on having a religious wedding to celebrate your main wedding in Mexico, some ministers may request your legal certificate of marriage from your civil ceremony, or at least proof of your civil wedding if it's going to be after your main wedding day.
If you are a foreigner and are having your Civil Wedding in Mexico, the documents you need may differ from state to state, but typically the requirements are:
- Your Passport, original and 2 copies.
- Apostille your Birth Certificate in your home country and certified in Mexico. In certain cases, it will need to be translated, depending on whether the region you are getting married.
- Original and copy of your migration document; your Tourist Permit, Residencia Temporal, or Residencia Permanente.
- Medical Certificate (to be done 15 days prior to the civil wedding, MUST be done in Mexico).
- 4 Witnesses, each with 2 forms of official identification.
- If you are divorced or widowed, you will also need to present originals and copies of the respective documents and have them apostilled and translated where necessary.
A civil wedding in Mexico is 100% legally binding and valid anywhere in the world. If you are uncertain about these requirements or need a Wedding Planner to help coordinate a civil wedding for you, feel free contact me, and I can recommend wedding planners that can assist you with this process.
Many destination weddings in the Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos commonly fall under this umbrella. A Symbolic or non-religious wedding is generally conducted by an officiant or minister, and are very common amongst foreigners for weddings on the beach, hotel resorts and colonial homes in Merida, Yucatan, for example. It is not necessary for the bride or groom to have or share the same religious beliefs for a non-religious wedding.
A Symbolic wedding or non-religious wedding will generally require your passports in original form and copies, but this will depend on the region and officiant or minister. If you need a recommendation on a wedding planner who can help coordinate a non-religious ceremony for your destination wedding, please let me know so, and I can advise you respectively.
Religious Catholic Wedding
Mexico is a very Catholic country, and the chances are, your partner is also Catholic. So, what is the process for getting married in Mexico if you aren´t Catholic?
Just because your partner is Catholic, doesn´t mean you need to convert your religious beliefs. Nowadays, it is common to have what is known as a “Mixed Wedding” in a Catholic church or chapel. However, the requirements and process can be more complicated. A Catholic wedding in Mexico has no legal status in Mexico or abroad, hence why in Mexico it is common to have a civil and a religious wedding.
Getting Married in Mexico as a non-Catholic
If you are a foreigner and non-Catholic, you will be required to visit the Catholic church closest to the home of the bride to request permission to marry in a Catholic church. What advice you receive next may depend on the minister and church.
As a non-Catholic, you will be required to attend a Catholic course which generally lasts a few weeks (although this may vary), after which you will be granted permission to have your religious wedding in a Catholic church.
You and your partner will then be required to attend pre-matrimonial talks with the minister, prior to your religious wedding. Once finalized and all the above requirements have been fulfilled, the minister will provide you with a letter that is certified by the archdioceses in Mexico that authorizes celebrating your wedding in another state (in the case of a destination wedding).
Your minister will assist you with obtaining all the documentation that is pertinent to your wedding.
- Civil Marriage Certificate or Proof of date confirmed of Civil Ceremony may be required (if after religious wedding)
- Pre-matrimonial talks certificate from the minister
- Letter or Certificate from minister certified by the archdioceses in Mexico, granting you permission to marry in a Catholic church.
Getting Married in Mexico When Both You and Your Fiancée are Catholic
If you are both Catholic and wanting to get married in Mexico. Then you will need to request your sacraments from the Catholic church in your home country are sent to Mexico, and depending on the state where you are marrying, have them translated into Spanish in Mexico.
- Civil Marriage Certificate or proof of date confirmed of Civil Ceremony may be required (if your civil wedding in Mexico is after the religious wedding)
- Pre-matrimonial talks certificate from the minister
- Sacraments from the Catholic Church in your home country.
If you need a wedding planner to help you with this part of your wedding, contact me for a recommendation.
A spiritual wedding ceremony that originates from the state of Yucatan, a Mayan Union Ceremony is an ancient marriage ritual full of colour. Traditionally performed by a Shaman who commences with a ritual of purification, giving thanks to the 4 points of the earth and asking for gods blessings of love, peace and abundance for the couple.
During the ceremony, the bride and groom´s hands are tied using a ribbon that symbolizes their union to society and to the gods.
As the ceremony concludes, the newlywed couple throws flower petals into the sea as a gift to the gods, in exchange for the fulfilment of their wishes as a newly married couple.
Mayan Ceremonies are common amongst many couples getting married in the Riviera Maya and usually take place at a resort next to the sea, a beach or a cenote. Traditionally it is performed in a Mayan dialect, although it is also common to have the ceremony performed in English.
A Mayan wedding closely fits in with a Symbolic wedding, in that it is not legally binding and no legal paperwork is required.
Legal ceremonies for Same-Sex couples are not conducted in all of Mexico. At the time of writing, they are permitted in Mexico City, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum (Riviera Maya). The Requirements for a legal same-sex wedding between a Mexican and a Foreigner are the same as the requirements for a Civil Wedding.
Destination weddings come in many shapes and forms, in the Riviera Maya it is very common for 2 foreigners to get wed in their homeland and celebrate the main wedding with friends and family in Mexico.
If your fiancée is Mexican, you may not have such liberty and may be required to have a civil ceremony followed by a religious wedding, so as to ensure you aren´t offending anybody in your fiancée´s family. On the upside, Mexican weddings are fun and flamboyant!
I hope this gives you an insight as to what your wedding planning process may entail. Getting married to a Mexican as a foreigner in Mexico isn´t as complicated as it sounds. A wedding planner can take a lot of this burden off of your shoulders, and ensure everything is smooth sailing. Contact me for recommendations on a wedding planner for your destination wedding.
Now you have decided on the type of wedding you want to have, how about a destination wedding photographer? :)
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